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After Fake News ‘Bombshell’ Implodes, BuzzFeed to Cut 15% of Staff

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A week ago, two of BuzzFeed’s all-star “investigative journalists” reported a story accusing President Donald J. Trump of instructing his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a felony.

Shortly thereafter, the story imploded when Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III debunked it, in a truly embarrassing display for the world-renowned listicle website. Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed’s news division, Ben Smith, doubled down on the story, claiming that his reporters’ anonymous sources knew more about the investigation than the Special Counsel himself.

Now, BuzzFeed is back in the headlines, and coincidentally (or perhaps not) the network will be laying off 15 percent of its staff, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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“BuzzFeed is planning to lay off about 15% of its workforce, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company seeks to reorient itself in a shifting digital-media landscape,” the report said. “The cuts could affect around 250 jobs, the people said. The firm, among the most high-profile digital-native publishers, also is looking to realign its resources to invest more in promising areas of the business like content licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said.”

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Moving away from news and into content licensing is perhaps smart, given the website’s proclivity for viral cat videos, which is diametrically opposed to its reputation for hapless journalism.

The Journal said that BuzzFeed is considering a merger with “other digital media players.”

“Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run. The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our own destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti reportedly told his staff in a memo.

America might just have to figure out how to survive with fewer listicles and fake news “bombshells,” a truly grim prospect.


Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca

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Fake News Media

Liberal Media Freaks Out as Tom Cotton Questions Coronavirus Origins

Mainstream media seems more concerned with Cotton’s questions than China’s censorship.

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Mainstream media entities are claiming Republican Senator Tom Cotton is trafficking in “conspiracy theories” for questioning the source of the coronavirus’ origins.

Cotton has questioned the official narrative stating that the deadly coronavirus outbreak originated in a wet food market in Wuhan, China. He’s suggested that it’s possible the disease originated in a Chinese government “superlab” a few miles away that conducts research in human infectious diseases.

Cotton has pointed out that the Chinese government is consistently declining offers of scientific and medical aid to combat the lethal epidemic, raising suspicions as to their transparency.

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Such a suggestion is enough to label Cotton a “conspiracy theorist” in the eyes of outlets such as Slate and the New York Times. A headline from the Times called Cotton’s question a “fringe theory,” even though Cotton references epidemiologists who believe the virus didn’t originally enter human transmission at the food market. The Washington Post also ran a story Monday claiming that Cotton is trafficking in conspiracy theories.

It’s remarkable that nominally respectable media entities such as the New York Times are quick to dismiss entirely plausible theories of the coronavirus’s origins. If anything, an official narrative on the virus’s origins from the authoritarian communist government of China should be treated with inherent skepticism, especially considering that China is widely suspected of covering up the gravity of the situation and even arresting reporters who seek to document the epidemic and the government’s response.

Certainly it’s possible that the disease spread into humans from the consumption of animals such as bats, a prevailing theory for the virus’s origins. But the general public has no reason to entirely discount any plausible theory for the origins of the virus.

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